Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Objectives: Numerous interventions have been developed to promote prudent antibiotic use for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). While reviews have assessed which interventions may be most effective, none has examined why some interventions may be more effective than others. Knowing what general practitioners (GPs) feel is acceptable and feasible to implement may help to answer this question. Methods: A systematic review was undertaken of 12 studies of GPs' views and experiences of antibiotic prescribing and/or interventions promoting the prudent use of antibiotics. A meta-ethnographic approach was followed to synthesize the findings. Results: Thirteen themes were identified from the synthesis. The first discussed GPs' satisfaction with their prescribing decisions. Seven themes highlighted factors that influence GPs' prescribing decisions; these included perceptions of external pressure to reduce prescribing, uncertainty about ARTI management and previous experience of ARTI management. Five themes highlighted the benefits of interventions that had helped GPs to prescribe more prudently in practice. The last two sets of themes were linked to indicate that interventions may only be beneficial for GPs when they address one or more of the factors that influence their prescribing decisions. Conclusions: The findings suggest that interventions should incorporate five aspects to promote prudent use whilst remaining attractive to GPs and feasible in practice. In order to maximize acceptability, interventions should: allow GPs to reflect on their own prescribing; help decrease uncertainty about appropriate ARTI management; educate GPs about appropriate prescribing; facilitate more patient-centred care; and be beneficial to implement in practice. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy

Publication Date





2215 - 2223